Beautiful language, beautiful analysis?

If students are given more beautiful language to explore, would their analysis itself be more beautiful? One of my biggest priorities this year is preparing my year 11 classes for their exams. Sure, this statement is unlikely to make it into any teacher recruitment literature, but it’s an unavoidable fact of teaching. And to this…

Grammar Lessons for Descriptive Writing

As much as I love marking, it can be one the quickest and most efficient ways to make me feel like a failure.  This sensation struck me in spades last term after I marked my classes’ efforts at descriptive writing coursework – part of the Cambridge iGCSE course. As I’m only able to give general comments about students’…

Speaking & Listening and the Subordination of Knowledge

I use to be jealous of Maths teachers. Not for the range of stationery they have at their disposable, nor their titanic powers of organisation. No – I was jealous of their curriculum. I was envious of how there seemed to be a discrete number of topics which could easily be organised and worked through logically, whereas…

Walking the Walk: Authentic Tests for GCSE classes

I’m writing this post in an attempt to contribute to this month’s blogsync: “What is the best place for testing in schools?” The other contributions can be found here. I write purely from personal experience. As ever, any feedback / criticisms are welcome. Authentic Tests This year our year elevens have been tested a lot. They’ve…

Are ‘outstanding’ lessons what’s best for my students?

For me, teaching year 11 this year has been unlike any previous stresses I’ve encountered. Like many other schools, our original plans regarding GCSE entries have had to shift, and like other schools, we’re grappling with a new curriculum and balancing different pathways at GCSE. As a consequence of, our year 11 students have a…